Parasailing in Michigan

July 17, 2000


On Saturday July 16, 2000 we went to Traverse City, Michigan. We would spend the night there, then drop off Hannah at Interlochen Arts Camp the next morning. We stayed at the Holiday Inn. That evening the three of us had a very enjoyable swim in the bay. While we were swimming we watched some people parasailing. I (Bill) wanted to do it but was too afraid. As I have gotten older I have developed quite a fear of heights. (I once had to have the fire department rescue me from my roof. I had gone up to clean the leaves out of the gutters and then I froze up!) That evening I was frustrated by my fears. Oh well....
The next morning we took Hannah to camp, then headed back to Traverse City because of car trouble (the muffler was falling off of the car.) While we waited for the car I decided I really wanted to confront my fears. I suggested to Emma that we go back to the hotel and try parasailing. She was, as usual, fearless. Having suggested it to her, I was now committed. And so we did.
It was a very nervous dad who stepped up to the fully inflated parachute to be clipped on. No backing out now! As the rope begins to feed out you are lifted up and out of the boat. What a weird feeling, as you gain altitude and distance very quickly! It was surprisingly quiet once you get up and away from the boat. The only problem was that it was quite windy that morning. The wind was much stronger when I got up high (I don't know how high, but I think 200 feet.) At that point I could feel the boat wanting to pull me one way and the wind and parachute wanting to pull me the other. I didn't like that part at all! But when I was a little lower I really liked it! Would I do it again? Absolutely, but not if it was windy!
Then it was Emma's turn. She didn't hesitate for a minute! As a father, it is a very weird feeling to see your 10 year old daughter get lifted up, up, and away!
       
Finally, she was wenched back in. Her only complaint was that it was over too soon!
Copyright © 2000 by Bill Qualls. Last updated July 21, 2000.
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